Leaving the disco, feeling like Superman and travelling faster than a speeding bullet, I accelerated from Toorak Rd along Punt Rd heading north towards my parent’s home in Gold St Clifton Hill. This was the early swinging 1960s. It was the top of a very early Saturday morning and the only car on Punt Rd was my white Jaguar E Type 3.8 Coupe, one of the first E Type’s on the road in Australia and it was faster than a Ferrari at that time and I knew it. I flew over the top of Punt Rd Hill, glided over the Yarra, and as I flashed past Swan St with the green light I saw the 1962 powder-blue divvy van turn on its siren and blue light and attempt a chase.
Passing the MCG in a flash, and with a selected healthy respect for some traffic laws and cops, I stopped at the red traffic lights at Bridge Rd. In the background I could hear the painful roar of the police car labouring up the hill behind me. But as the lights turned green I took off like a jack rabbit.
As luck would have it I got stuck at the Victoria Pde lights. At this stage it appeared the cops were still flat out somewhere in the Punt Rd distance and determined to catch me. Luckily the lights changed again and I took off. At the next red lights at Johnston St, I waited for them like a quivering rabbit. This time I could clearly hear them trashing their car from as far away as the Collingwood Town Hall as they screamed down towards Johnston St and my stationary Jaguar.
Third time lucky? Lucky for me indeed! The lights turned green, I shot off east along Johnston St and the cops barrelled straight past me. I could hear the torturous gnashing of suspension, brakes, screaming tyres as the divvy van continued down Hoddle St and experienced struggle street while trying to turn.
Meanwhile, I hid myself and my Jaguar E Type amongst the Collingwood housing commission flats. I lit a Peter Stuyvesant and listened to the wailing police siren in the distance.
After 20 minutes, three Peter Stuyvesants and a loud ticking heart I gained enough courage to drive up Gold St, careful to avoid the conspicuous Punt Rd. I also avoided noise by driving in top gear at 5MPH, and blended into the darkness with no lights.
I heard nothing, saw nothing, and cheerfully turned on the lights and cassette player. I swished up my parents' driveway whistling to myself, stepped out of the car and opened the garage doors. I was speechless when I saw the divvy van parked inside with its lights flashing blue. Someone behind me grabbed me by the collar and a rough voice said, 'Gotcha ya little bastard!'
There was a happy friendly ending but that is another story.